God’s Attitude toward the “Supreme Beings” of the Nations

by Sandy Simpson, 5/20/15


It is quite clear from Scripture that YHWH does NOT consider the “supreme beings” of the nations to be Himself, the One True God.  This is in opposition to the teachings of Don Richardson, Daniel Kikawa, Richard Twiss and many others promoting the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People movement, Emergent Church and Liberal theologies.  I have proven this time and time again in my articles on the subject but I am going to consolidate the information from the Bible in this article by studying the false gods named in the Bible.  I am sure I will not be able to cover every instance of supreme beings mentioned in the Bible but I (1) want to deal with some of the major ones (2) show you where they are found in the Word, and (3) prove that they were the “supreme beings” of those nations named by the patriarchs, prophets and Apostles and that they were not monotheistic gods but polytheistic in the tradition of Babel where the false religion of polytheism first took root through the worship of Nimrod and Semiramis.


A list of gods mentioned in the Bible

Amon (Amen), the chief god of Egypt

Jeremiah 46:25 The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "I am about to bring punishment on Amon god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on Egypt and her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh.


The God of Israel, thus the God of Joseph, said He would bring punishment on the false “supreme being” of the Egyptians and the leaders who worshipped it.  The "supreme beings" of Egypt, a polytheistic couple as in all cultures post-Babel, were Amen and Mut (http://socsci.colorado.edu/LAB/GODS/)

Asherah, a Canaanite goddess (Ex 34:13-14)

Asherah was the consort of El, the chief Canaanite god, not Elohim but the false god El. Wooden poles, perhaps carved in her image, were often set up in her honor and placed near other pagan objects of worship (See also Dt 7:5; Jdg 6:25-30). Gideon destroyed an Asherah pole (1Ki 14:15,23; 1Ki 15:13; 1Ki 16:33; 1Ki 18:19). King Josiah’s reforms included destruction of altars and images dedicated to Asherah (2Ki 23:4-7,13-16, Isa 27:9; Jer 17:2; Mic 5:14).

Deuteronomy 16:21 “You shall not plant for yourself an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of the Lord your God, which you shall make for yourself.

The supreme beings of Nineveh and Canaan were El and Asherah or Athirat.  (http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa102197.htm)

Ashtoreth, a goddess of war and fertility (Jdg 2:12-13)

Ashtoreth, the consort of Baal, was associated with the evening star and was worshipped as Ishtar in Babylon and as Athtart in Aram. To the Greeks she was Astarte or Aphrodite and to the Romans, Venus (See also Jdg 10:6; 1Sa 7:3-4; 1Sa 12:10; 1Sa 31:10; 1Ki 11:5, 33).

The "supreme beings" of Canaan were the Baals and Ashtoreth (http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html)

Baal, a Canaanite and Phoenician god of fertility and rain (Jdg 2:10-13)

Baal, meaning “lord” or “husband”, was pictured standing on a bull, a popular symbol of fertility and strength. Baal was associated with Asherah and Ashtoreth, goddesses of fertility.

Judges 2:8-13  Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten.   And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.   After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals and forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshipped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.


During the time of Joshua the people of Israel worshipped the true God, by in large.  But a generation after Joshua died they turned away from YHWH to the worship of Baal & Ashtoreth.  The "supreme beings" of Canaan were the Baals and Asherah (http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html)


Elijah challenged the priests of Baal and Asherah at Mt. Carmel.


1 Kings 18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing. 


This is a very clear example of God contrasting Himself with the false supreme beings Israel had chosen to follow.  Jeremiah also challenged the people to follow the true God instead of Baal.

Jeremiah 7:9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known,

These conflicts were between the false god Baal and the true God, YHWH.  The modern Inclusivists would have never had the Mt. Carmel showdown.  But that event proves that Inclusivism is garbage. Again, the "supreme beings" of Canaan were Baal and Asherah (http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html)

Baal-Zebub, a popular deity of the Philistines (Mt 12:24, Mk 3:22, Lk 11:15)

Matt. 12:24, where the Pharisees charged that Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, constitutes a major example of “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”, thus this supreme being was a demon or Satan himself since Luke 11:15 states that he was the ruler of demons. 

Beelzebub is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Baal-Zebub”, meaning “lord of the flies” (See also 2Ki 1:1-6,16-17)

Beelzebub is a derivative of Baal whose consort was Astarte (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philistines).

Bel, the chief deity of Babylon (Isa 46:1)

Is. 46:1 Bel has bowed down, Nebo stoops over; their images are consigned to the beasts and the cattle …

In the NASB the caption above this chapter division reads “Babylon’s Idols and the True God”.  Isaiah was contrasting the supreme beings of Babylon with the God of Israel, YHWH. Bel was another name for the sun god, Marduk. Nebo, the god of learning and writing was the son of Marduk (See also Jer 50:2; Jer 51:44)

Marduk’s consort was Astarte (continued worship of Nimrod & Semaramis, http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/assyrbabyl-faq.html)

Chemosh, the chief god of Moab (1Ki 11:7 See also Nu 21:29; 1Ki 11:33; 2Ki 23:13; Jer 48:7,13,46)

1 Kings 11:7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon.

Chemosh was the supreme being of Moab, whose consort was the Semitic mother-goddess Ashtar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemosh)

Dagon, worshipped in Babylonia and Philistia (Jdg 16:23 See also 1Sa 5:2-7; 1Ch 10:10)

1 Samuel 5:7 When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, "The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy upon us and upon Dagon our god."


You will remember that the statue of Dagon fell twice in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant and the men of Ashdod admitted that their god was different than the God of Israel. The "supreme beings" of the Philistines were Dagon and Derceto (http://voices.yahoo.com/biblical-overview-history-philistines-1952417.html).  Inclusivists of today would say that since Dagon was a “supreme being” that he was the true God, and they would get Bible translation societies to include his name in the Ashdod Bible.

Molech, the chief deity of Ammon (1Ki 11:4-5 See also Lev 18:21)

The practice of sacrificing children to Molech was common in Phoenicia and the region (Lev 20:2-5; 1Ki 11:7,33; 2Ki 23:10). Josiah destroyed the area where the altars for child sacrifice were located (2Ki 23:13; Isa 57:9; Jer 32:35; Jer 49:1,3; Zep 1:5; Ac 7:43)

Leviticus 20:2-5 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “You shall also say to the sons of Israel: ‘Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones. I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name. ...


This is yet another proof that you cannot make the names of supreme beings the same as YHWH, who revealed Himself exclusively to Israel and finally through His Son, Jesus Christ and the Apostles, to the Gentiles.  Any use of the names of supreme beings for the One True God “profanes His holy name”!

1 Kings 11:7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon.

Molech was detestable to God.  Molech’s consort was Ashtoreth also (http://www.gotquestions.org/who-Molech.html).

Tammuz, a Babylonian fertility god (Eze 8:14)

Ezekiel 8:14 Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.

Those women sat at the gate to the Lord’s house and shed idolatrous tears for this “supreme being”.  What foolishness.

In Babylonia, the month Tammuz was established in honor of the eponymous god Tammuz, who originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna and, in his Akkadian form, the parallel consort of Ishtar. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammuz_%28deity%29)

Zeus and Hermes (Ac 14:12)

Zeus was the patron god of the city of Lystra and his temple was there. Paul was misidentified by the people of Lycaonia as the god Hermes (the Roman Mercury), Zeus’ attendant and spokesman.

Acts 14:11-18  When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: "Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.


So Zeus and Hermes are contrasted against YHWH. This situation is entirely consistent with Paul teaching over and over again that the Gentiles “do not know God”.  Paul was there to bring them the Gospel, not to syncretise their own god with the God of the Bible.  This is exactly what he also did in Aereopogus when he explained to them Who the “Unknown God” was, and most of them did not even want to hear the truth.  This reference to the “Unknown God” is not a proof that the Greeks were worshipping the true God but consistent with the general counsel of God’s word on this subject.


Gal. 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
1 Cor. 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Rom. 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
1 Thess. 4:5 ...not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God...
Ephesians 2:12-13 ...remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
2 Thess. 1:8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.


The "supreme beings" of the Greeks were Zeus & Hera, though Zeus had a number of other consorts spawning a pantheon of gods (http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/zeusgirl.html). Jupiter and Juno were the "supreme beings" of Rome, again spawning a pantheon of other gods (http://www.gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/roman/). Artemis was a virgin goddess, never married, who allegedly loved Orion, but was the daughter of Zeus & Leto (http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Artemis.html)

Artemis Ac 19:24-28

Artemis was the Greek name for the Roman goddess, Diana.  Paul was persecuted because his preaching of the Gospel was seen as a detriment to the worship and crafting of Diana idols.

Acts 19:24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen;


There were a number of suitors for Artemis in Greek legend but Orion is probably chief among them.  Various conflicting accounts are given in Classical Greek mythology of the birth of Artemis and her twin brother, Apollo. All accounts agree, however, that she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and that she was the twin sister of Apollo. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis)  So she is part of the pantheon of Greek gods none of whom, though supreme beings, have anything in common with YHWH.

Castor and Pollux (See also Ac 28:11)

The twin “sons of Zeus”, regarded as the guardian deities of sailors.  Again they are part of the pantheon of Greek gods who have nothing to do with YHWH.

“Castor and Pollux aspired to marry the Leucippides ("daughters of the white horse"), Phoebe and Hilaeira, whose father was a brother of Leucippus ("white horse").[a] Both women were already betrothed to cousins of the Dioscuri, the twin brothers Lynceus and Idas of Thebes, sons of Tyndareus's brother Aphareus. Castor and Pollux carried the women off to Sparta wherein each had a son; Phoebe bore Mnesileos to Pollux and Hilaeira bore Anogon to Castor. This began a family feud among the four sons of the brothers Tyndareus and Aphareus.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_and_Pollux)


Wow what nice “gods”.  Not God.




The worship of false gods was a snare to God’s people. Their worship included disgusting rites (1Ki 14:23-24; 1Ki 19:18; Jer 7:31; Hos 13:2). Numerous attempts were made to stop the worship of Baal and other false gods (Jdg 6:28-32; 1Ki 18:17-40, see also 2Ki 10:18-28; 2Ki 11:18; 2Ki 23:4-5, 13). Attempts to stop false worship often proved unsuccessful (2Ki 21:3). The word “Baal” was not originally a proper name but came to be used as such, in other words it was a word originally meaning “lord” or “husband” but came to signify the false god of Canaan Baal whose consort was Asherah (See also 2Ch 28:1-4; Hos 13:1-2). The Bible is replete with warnings against and condemnation of the worship of false gods (Ps 40:4; Da 3:29). Nebuchadnezzar came to realize the foolishness of worshipping false gods (see also Ps 4:2; Jer 13:25; Jer 16:19; Am 2:4; Zep 1:4). The first Christians were confronted with the worship of the false Greek and Roman deities.


God warns us to have no other gods but Him alone.


Joshua 23:7 Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them.

Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

Deuteronomy 6:14 You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you,

Deuteronomy 8:19 It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish.


More generally God tells us ALL the gods of the nations are false gods, idols.


Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Micah 4:5 All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we (Israel) will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.

God will ultimately destroy all the “gods of the earth”.  Those demons will end up in hell.


Zephaniah 2:11 The Lord will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to him, all of them in their own lands.


There is only one Name (Jesus Christ) under heaven by which men may be saved.


Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.


On the day of the return of Jesus Christ there will be “one LORD, and his name the only name”.


Zechariah 14:9 NIV The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.


And yet the new false teachers of “Inclusivism” claim a person can be saved by "general revelation" of "God" without the revelation of Jesus Christ.


Inclusivism: Whereas Exclusivists regard general revelation as informative only and special revelation as both informative and salvific, Inclusivists, by contrast, regard general revelation as both informative and salvific and special revelation as even mere deeply informative and even more effectively and widely salvific! (Don Richardson, Heaven Wins)


There is only one salvation and that is through Jesus Christ.


John 14:6 Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


(Additional material source:  https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/8747-false-gods)